How to Recognize Anxiety Symptoms in Dogs

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Symptoms of anxiety in dogs include shaking, panting and other typical signs of nervousness. Learn about dog behavior and common misconceptions of anxiety with help from a veterinarian in this free video on dog health and anxiety.

Part of the Video Series: Dog Health
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Dr. Greg McDonald. I'm a veterinarian in Southern California. My practice is in Santa Barbara. We're going to talk a little bit about dog care today and one of the things that some of my clients come to me and they're asking about is how can they tell if their dog is anxious or has some anxiety and what to do about it if their dogs are really kind of a nervous type dog. Partly this is breed related. Some breeds are just high energy very very up kind of dogs, highly intelligent and that makes them kind of worry about stuff and often times owners don't really know to tell, how can they tell if their dog is anxious or worried. Dogs that are acting out in other words you leave your dog at home and you come home and you find the house is a wreck. They've chewed on the rug, they've chewed on the stairs, there is a whole bunch of problems going on. That's usually because the dogs are bored but it also could be because they're worried. We have had some instances where there is new construction going on in the neighborhood, unusual loud sounds and some dogs that are the worrying type of breed may all of a sudden get really anxious about that and so the thing that you first notice usually is the dog may be shaking, panting, acting nervous, it would be very important to check with your veterinarian, be sure there is not a medical problem, happening with them and also consult with your veterinarian if there might be some medicine that could help your dog. If this is construction going on for a short time period maybe just a tranquilizer would help. If it's something that your dog seems to do every day when you're gone you might need to get him on some antidepressants. We have been diagnosing this with dogs that are just anxious about everything and we put them on Prozac sometimes and Prozac really works for dogs. It helps to take away some of that obsessive compulsive behavior. Once again you have to kind of be certain that your dog isn't having some kind of medical problem. Dogs that are having electrolyte disturbances, kidney function, liver function, other problems like that could be acting anxious when the reality is that they are either painful or there is something organic dysfunction going on inside of their body. So first when you notice a change in your dog's behavior or their attitude they are seeming like they are anxious, consult with your veterinarian, have your dog have a thorough physical exam. Your veterinarian may want to do a little bit of blood work to rule out some of these internal problems and then again we have lots of different kinds of medication to help with anxiety. There is a product called Clomicalm. Clomicalm is a tranquilizer type drug and this is a tranquilizer, Acepromazine. So first thing that you notice is a nervous dog, check with your veterinarian and see if he can help you.


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